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Jack Petchey Speak Out Regional Final Winner

posted 6 May 2016, 05:56 by Shirley Wheeler

Many congratulations to our two Year 10 students, Gemma Barritt and Abigail Campbell who took part in the Southend and Rochford Regional Final of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge last night at Southend High School for Girls.

Every year the academy endeavours to take part in the competition by holding two workshops in early February for two Year 10 classes. With the help of Teresa Dukes from the Jack Petchey Foundation, we were able to choose seven students out of a possible fifty to take part in an assembly and perform their speeches in front of the Year 8s and their form tutors.  Gemma Barritt and Abigail Campbell were then chosen to represent the academy at the regional event with Nicholas Campen as reserve.

The girls went to the event in high spirits and full of confidence.  The Jack Petchey Foundation ran a workshop beforehand so that each contestant had a chance to work on their speech and to try to feel at ease when they would finally go on stage. The girls were competing against sixteen other contestants from other schools in the locality.  Both girls spoke exceptionally well and were a credit to the academy on the night.   The high hopes that Mr Reilly and the English department had for the girls were well founded as Gemma was the overall winner of the competition.

It was an outstanding achievement considering the amount of excellent speakers on show at the competition. She prepared an emotionally charged, heart-warming and sincere speech entitled ‘Bloody’ Tax.

Her delivery was faultless on the night and her accolade was well deserved. She received a trophy and a certificate on the night and we look forward to the possibility of competing in the Grand Final in July.

Abigail’s effort did not go unrewarded.  Even though she did not place in the top three, she prepared and delivered an amazing speech entitled “Marvel at your illness.”  She also received a certificate for taking part on the night.

 Teresa Dukes commented that both students had prepared and delivered a tremendous speech and that they are a credit to their family and their school.

A huge thank you must go to the group of Year 10 students who arrived at the event to cheer on our triumphant students.  Of the event, the girls stated that it was “fun to compete” and “it is a worthwhile experience for students”. 
In short, congratulations to both Gemma and Abigail for their terrific achievement.